On Monday, two Ohio House Republican reps., Mike Loychik and Jean Schmidt, introduced House Bill 616, which would prohibit public school teachers from instructing, using, or providing any instructional materials or material on sexual orientation or gender identity for grades kindergarten through third.
In accordance with Ohio’s “state standards,” educators for the fourth through twelfth grades will not be permitted to teach age-inappropriate material.
After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law last week that prohibits teaching on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade and restricts age-inappropriate discussions of sexuality in grades 4 through 8, the school board in Polk County has approved similar limitations for its schools.
Despite the fact that there is no talk of a ban on the word, Florida’s bill has attracted criticism as the “Don’t say gay” law because it allows parents access to their children’s education and health records. Schools must notify parents if there are any significant changes in a student’s mental, physical, or emotional well-being. If a school believes that disclosing information to his or her father would put the child at risk of abuse, abandonment, or neglect, the school may withhold information under this provision.
Ohio is also attempting to ban the teaching of divisive ideas, such as Critical Race Theory, The 1619 Project, intersectional theory, and “inherited racial guilt,” according to its bill.
“Any other notion that the state board of education considers divisive or inherently racist,” according to the bill, would also be prohibited.
The bill follows wording used in a recently enacted South Dakota law.
The South Dakota bill, which was passed by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem last month, prohibits public colleges and universities in the state from using “divisive” Critical Race Theory-inspired training or orientations like instructing students that an individual is inherently superior or inferior, or should be discriminated against, based on their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity or national origin.
“The notion that our students or instructors should be forced to endorse Critical Race Theory in order to attend, graduate from, or instruct at our public institutions is reprehensible,” Noem added after she signed the measure. “Colleges should continue to be a place where free expression and thought are allowed; not stifled by political agendas.”